How good was it to see Zlatan back and making his return against Newcastle United on Saturday just gone. It’s not too often I get that excited about a player coming back from a bad injury, but I was certainly like after knowing what he’d gone through when he came onto the pitch. In fact I don’t think I’ve been as happy as that at a game, with regards an injury situation for a long time. Possibly since I saw the legend that is Solskjaer score his first Premier League goal in three years at Charlton way back in August 2006.
I heard rumours on Friday that he may well be back but I wasn’t sure if Mourinho would risk him just yet. After I finished watching Arsenal beat Spurs I headed to The Quadrant pub to meet my mate and try to catch the first half of England vs Australia in the rugby. I managed both but then had to head to the ground a little earlier than normal to meet some others. On entering the ground I heard he was back in the squad but also that Pogba was definitely back too and in the starting line up.
What a boost that was and then I heard Martial and Rashford were starting together too, which can’t have happened to often this season? Then we went behind after some poor defending, a slip by Lindelof and a good finish by Dwight Gayle. No one panicked though, well I certainly didn’t. My first thought after we went behind was that this was perfect for Zlatan’s return and for him to get the winner. That would have been great of course but thankfully we were better than that and got back into the game quickly so we didn’t have to reply on Zlatan. First half goals from Martial and Smalling, then the outstanding Pogba got one before Lukaku finished them off.
You might think Newcastle and then Brighton at home up next are easy victories, they of course are and really should be. However, at this stage of the season and with our us being eight points behind City already. This game and the Brighton one to come this Saturday, after Basel away in the Champions League tomorrow, its pressure on as a minimum of six points is required. We’ve got three and if we can rest a few lads out in Switzerland we can then get straight at Brighton at 3pm on Saturday.
This is all after the Chelsea away defeat a couple of weeks ago before we went into the International Break. We could have won that if Mourinho had got the team correct and I don’t think he did. Mkhitaryan should not have been playing in that game, like he wasn’t against Newcastle as he’s been poor for around a month now. Nothing against him of course, he was outstanding at the start of the season but maybe towards the end of October he should have been dropped as he was clearly struggling. Not to worry though, we move on. We just now to keep the winning mentality going and build towards getting our match day squad right against City on the 10th December.